This year I've decided to sketch many of The Great Holy Men and Women of the Church. Come along with me on this journey as we get to know our elder brothers and sisters in faith.
"And therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses over our head, laying aside every weight and sin which surrounds us, let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us," Heb 12:1
Katherine of Alexandria
Katherine of Alexandria [Greek: Ἁγία Αἰκατερίνα] [c. 282-305 A.D.] was of Coptic nobility, and from an early age she was educated at the major schools of Alexandria, which at that time was the center of philosophical learning. In the midst of her education she experienced a profound conversion to the Christian faith, and began a life of strict asceticism. During the reign of the Roman Emperor Maxentius, it became required to make a public act of worship of the Emperor's divinity, and Katherine refused to partake in the pagan observances, and instead preached the Gospel before the throne of the Emperor. Stunned by her erudition, Maxentius then challenged Katherine to debate the most preeminent pagan philosophers of Alexandria and convince them of Christianity. She accepted the Emperor's challenge, debating over 50 scholastics and to the horror of Maxentius she converted them all. Her arguments even converted several Roman generals, and the Emperor's own wife. Enraged by this, Maxentius had Katherine tortured and beheaded.